Personalities are unique as the people who own them. They range from demanding to meek, cunning to creative, and some people embody multiple personalities. At some points they might be demanding and other points they simply sit back and let others take control. When it comes to being an entrepreneur or a business owner personality can make a major impact on the business. So, is there a perfect personality type for an entrepreneur to have in order to become great?
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Photo Credit: Elisa Limburg
A focused personality
I believe an entrepreneur should have a confident, ambitious and driven personality. They need to be focused, not just on the task at hand but also the bigger picture. Entrepreneurs also need to stay positive to be able to deal with both the highs and lows of creating projects and running a business. Above all, entrepreneurs need to stay tough and not let the hard knocks, pitfalls or comments from others get them down. They should be resilient and flexible and be prepared for change. Decisions should be made using smart business acumen and not emotions. Entrepreneurs should also try and remain a little humble despite the success they may achieve along the way.
Thanks to Elisa Limburg, elevents
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Photo Credit: Kim Beeler
A strong and independent personality
I have owned a home-based PR/marketing company for 10.5 years now. I think the right kind of personality for being an entrepreneur is one that is strong and independent. As a sole proprietor, the success or failure of the business is completely dependent on my efforts. In addition to working on behalf of the clients on board and tasks at hand, you have to constantly be aware of the need to grow the business and set aside time to network and look for the next client. It’s a wonderful experience to be your own boss and enjoy the fruits of your labor, but the spirit to persevere is of absolute necessity! A friend recently gave me a good quote to live by as an entrepreneur: “Fail often.”
Thanks to Kim Beeler, Beeler Marketing
Photo Credit: Aimee Elizabeth
A determined, ornery chameleon personality
The best type of personality for an entrepreneur or business owner to have is what I call “a determined, ornery chameleon.” You need to be ornery enough that you can’t stand working for others and taking orders from people when you know you could do it better yourself. You need to be chameleon enough to hide your ornery side from your customers – those you need to treat like gold, even the few you can’t stand. You need to be determined and persistent enough to not quit when it gets tough, and to always be determined to find solutions when problems arise – as they inevitably will. This trifecta of personality traits will serve you well.
Thanks to Aimee Elizabeth
Photo Credit: Ronny Jetmore
Being a self-starter
I would say an entrepreneur needs to be one that is a self-starter, very long term focused, and not moved easily by every wind or whim. You need to be able to not take “no” for an answer, and you need to be able to believe in what you are doing, that it will work, and that it is right. You need to be okay with losing many customers and deals on the way to getting your first few. You need a thick skin, and you need to be a good planner, a realist that is not dissuaded by several years of just scraping by in the process of growing your business enough to make a living at it.
Thanks to Ronny Jetmore, Jetmore Insurance Group
Photo Credit: Maida Swenson-Fortune
One personality doesn’t cut it
I don’t think that any one personality is “right.” Sure you have to be a little bit crazy to plunge head first in to the risky pool, but it’s more about knowing your own strengths and weaknesses and building a team that compliments you. All too often entrepreneurs bring on people that are too similar to them and they wind up with problems of group think and affirmation bias. It’s better to bring on people that are different than you, who have different skills. And try to make sure you have advisors or team members that fit your customer profile! Last, having a team that is varied in point of view and skills can lead to conflict, so you have to learn how to make conflict a constructive part of your team dynamic. We used the Thomas Kilman Conflict module. It’s all about revealing your personal conflict style and learning how to work with people who have different conflict styles.
Thanks to Maida Swenson-Fortune, Cureeo
Photo Credit: David Capece
Dynamic, passionate and adaptable
I believe the three personality traits of successful entrepreneurs are: dynamic, passionate, and adaptable. Dynamism has a double meaning: 1) the ability to shine dynamically with others, and 2) the ability to bring a dynamic skill set to the table so that you are multidimensional in your approach and what you are able to achieve. As for passion, entrepreneurs should love what they do and let it show. The public face of an entrepreneur needs to be encouraging and passionate to challenge the status quo. Others respect purpose, passion, and genuine caring. Lastly, many experts will say that entrepreneurs should be firm in their vision. While I agree that entrepreneurs should have a clear overarching vision, I believe it is vital to be adaptable to shift strategies and plans based on real-time learning.
Thanks to David Capece, Sparxoo
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Photo Credit: Elle Kaplan
Being a visionary
Entrepreneurs are visionaries. We are imaginative, innovative, independent thinkers who love a challenge and love to challenge the existing standards. However, truly successful entrepreneurs must have a keen sense of business practicalities in order to turn their vision into reality. We are driven by mission, not money, but we also know how to create opportunity and make it happen. Entrepreneurs are not just dreamers but dreamer-doers.
Thanks to Elle Kaplan, Lexion Capital Management LLC
Photo Credit: Dick Stieglitz
A mix of extrovert and introvert
Many people believe that extroverts make better entrepreneurs than introverts – it’s not necessarily true. To align our definitions: extroverts gain energy by sharing ideas in a group and lose energy working alone. Conversely, introverts like to evaluate situations and consider alternatives thoroughly; losing energy when forced into exchanges where instant choices must be made. In my experience, both types can be effective as entrepreneurs – as long as they surround themselves with people of the opposite style. The high-risk entrepreneurs are those who surround themselves with people like themselves (e.g., a sales-oriented entrepreneur who hires other sales personalities, or a technical genius who hires other technical gurus). Effective entrepreneurs must be understand their strengths and their people’s strengths. Since each strength has a corresponding shadow side, they must consciously build a team that has complementary strengths is be successful in the long term.
Thanks to Dick Stieglitz, Leadership Conversations, LLC
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Photo Credit: Michael “Dr. Woody” Woodward
Having a resilient personality
Resilience: Entrepreneurs who thrive accept the potential for failure and embrace failure when it happens. The root of their strength is that they don’t necessarily see themselves or their partners as failures as much as they do the idea or execution. Their focus is on learning and adjusting as opposed to wallowing in self-pity or seeking out scape goats. They always find a way to get back on track quickly, which means they have little time for playing the blame game.
Thanks to Michael “Dr. Woody” Woodward, PhD
Photo Credit: Rhonda Shear
Open and down to earth
Every business is different and it takes a lot of different personalities to cover everything, but for me being approachable is so important! I think Shear Enterprises, LLC has seen such incredible growth over the last few years because we are open, down to earth people. Our employees and customers alike know they can come to us and we will listen. Putting people at ease with genuine knowledge of our product and the people who represent it creates a trust level. I love what I do and I love to connect people and meet new people- you never know what magic may come of those relationships if you ignore the opportunities out there! Being in front of the camera in Hollywood for years and touring as a stand-up comic, I met a LOT of different kinds of people… Those experiences have been a great foundation for me to build a business and the relationships that make it grow. Serious business doesn’t have to look so serious!
Thanks to Rhonda Shear, Shear Enterprises, LLC
Photo Credit: Meggan Trobaugh
Having the right personality at the right time
To run a business, you have to be a strange set of corresponding extremes. You have to be incredibly enthusiastic in your ideas and when the time is right you have to hit that switch and walk away uninterested. You have to be cautious to protect your interests but you also have to be out there and doing something new with the potential to loose your hat. You have to be organised and methodical but somehow have space to allow yourself to breath and cultivate ideas. You have to sell to every friend or family member you have but avoid talking business so you don’t get asked for discounts. You will find yourself on vacation, working harder then you did at your desk last week, to make up for the poor wifi. And for every second that you hate it. You have to love it just that bit more because its yours to hate. If you can’t be stern in your actions, find something new. Its black and white, no middle grey. Be both extremes at the right time or fail.
Thanks to Meggan Trobaugh, MegganJoyPHOTO
Photo Credit: Chris Sonjeow
An analytic personality
The best CEO’s I’ve always modeled myself after are very analytic. They base decisions off of true data and less off gut instinct. This does two things. One, it gives business decisions a basis for comparison and two, it gives the employees something to understand. The reason I like the analytically approach is because it takes the emotion out of the equation. Emotion clouds judgment. That’s not to say I can’t be excited about new ideas or upset when problems arise. It’s just once those emotions pass, the data is how I go about taking the next steps.
Thanks to Chris Sonjeow, Love Book Online
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Photo Credit: Tony Wright
Being an eternal optimist
The most successful entrepreneurs I know are eternal optimists. As an entrepreneur myself, I have to watch my optimism as it can get me into trouble. I have certain “realists” that I trust to keep me grounded. If I can convince these cynical friends of mine that an idea will work, I am almost guaranteed a winner. Another personality trait that stems from eternal optimism is the ability always move forward. When things aren’t going the way I want to, I picture myself just continuously putting one foot in front of the other and moving forward. If you stop to wallow in your mistakes or savor your victories too long, you get stuck. Entrepreneurs are always moving on to the next big thing. So I guess another personality trait of the successful entrepreneur might be a touch of attention deficit disorder.
Thanks to Tony Wright, WrightIMC